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First Ultra question - 50 miler - advice needed (Read 164 times)

    Friends,

     

    My sister is wanting to do a 50 mile race this summer. She is looking at the race that is linked below. She has been running about 10 years and has run 18 marathons (i think). Anyways, most of her training has been low mileage stuff. She said she has hit 50 miles in a week probably only once. I think her PR is like 4:04 or something like that. She was 4:06 at MCM last fall I think and finished Houston last weekend.

     

    So now to the questions:

    What is the best way for her to build up mileage to be able to complete a 50 mile race?

    Is there some sort of beginner ultra plan that someone would recommend?

    Any advice or resources that would be good for her?

     

    ** Her only expectation is just to finish the race in under the 13 Hr time limit. - (I guess its a bucket list thing)

     

    Thanks

    Tomas

     

    http://www.athletic-equation.com/OSS_CIA_50M_Night_Run.html

    ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

     

    Tomas


    A Dance with Monkeys

      This is not something you asked, but: not sure I would pick a nighttime-only 50 miler for a first 50.

        This is not something you asked, but: not sure I would pick a nighttime-only 50 miler for a first 50.

         

        since she has to do it in the summer, she was thinking night time might be worth the trade off with less heat. she was also looking at a hilly one in south carolina.

         

        she asked whats worse, "roots in the dark or heat and hills?"

         

        I really dont know. I told her I would be more affraid of the heat.

        ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

        “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

         

        Tomas

          Decent mileage per week has to be the key.  -- I guess it is possible for some people to do their first 50 miler on low mileage, but hard to imagine someone not running 50 MPW, and then deciding to try getting 50 miles in 13 hours....  But... She has that long running history and can do a Marathon in a nice time...  

          Only advice I would suggest is that if she really is committed to doing that 50 miler, get the Miles Per Week up!  Higher MPW in the months before will make it accomplishable / less of an ordeal to achieve. 

           

          (Accomplishable is not a word, I know. :-)

          The Plan (big parts)→  /// April '14:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov '14:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  April 2015:  VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (Goal: >80.1+Miles)  ∞

            Interesting choice.

             

            Suggest that she do a trail 50K this spring.  Something like this:  http://njtrailseries.com/njultrafestival

             

            If she can train on the course, that would be very helpful, since running at night can be very confusing if the area is not familiar and you are not used to it.  Running on trails at night is also an art that takes practice.

             

            Even though she has run lots of marathons, long runs on trails are very important.  As fatigue sets in, falls become more likely.  In my own experience, my best performances came in the absence of face plants. Running on tougher trails while fatigued is what worked for me as far as training up the mountain-goatedness. She needs to build up to the 3 hour, 2-3 times a month level.

             

            30 miles/week is good enough for a "finish" (esp. if 15+ of that is trails), 40 MPW is better.

            2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.


            I'm back!

              Suggest that she do a trail 50K this spring.  Something like this:  http://njtrailseries.com/njultrafestival

               

              +1. Doing a double (marathon on Sat/Sun) is also good training for running on tired legs, but getting in trail mileage is important.

               

              I ran my first 50 on higher mileage, as a faster runner, with one double under my belt, but no 50ks. Lots of trail miles, though. 13-hour cutoff. It just about killed me. I think a trail 50k would have helped quite a bit.

               

              I can't tell from the event website what the elevation profile is like; that's a big factor. A 13-hour cutoff would generally indicate a relatively tough course -- the one I did has over 17,000 ft. elevation change.


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Yes, I agree, lots of high miles and a 50k or two between now and the race.


                The problem with the dark is not just unseen roots. It is the hallucinations. And the spookiness just outside the reach of the light. And the added variables of headlight, batteries, monotony (i.e., no scenery), and all those creepy sounds and sights just outside of your field of vision.

                 

                Yep, a 50 miler in the Summer may be hot. That will be true at night as well, and humidity rises at night. If the heat is a problem, I'd recommend finding a 50 miler in another season, not one at night if a first race.

                  Friends,

                   

                  My sister is wanting to do a 50 mile race this summer. She is looking at the race that is linked below. She has been running about 10 years and has run 18 marathons (i think). Anyways, most of her training has been low mileage stuff. She said she has hit 50 miles in a week probably only once. I think her PR is like 4:04 or something like that. She was 4:06 at MCM last fall I think and finished Houston last weekend.

                   

                  So now to the questions:

                  What is the best way for her to build up mileage to be able to complete a 50 mile race?

                  Is there some sort of beginner ultra plan that someone would recommend?

                  Any advice or resources that would be good for her?

                   

                  ** Her only expectation is just to finish the race in under the 13 Hr time limit. - (I guess its a bucket list thing)

                   

                  Thanks

                  Tomas

                   

                  http://www.athletic-equation.com/OSS_CIA_50M_Night_Run.html

                   

                  Everything said so far is spot on. I won't disagree, but I will offer another perspective.

                   

                  She's run 18 freaking marathons!! She can do this. Since all she wants to do is finish then all she has to do is stay on her feet for about 12 hours moving without getting worn out.

                   

                  A few years ago I ran a muddy, wet, nasty trail 50M in 12 hours. My experience was about 5 marathons and my training plan was to run a marathon in March (50 was in May). As it turned out I trained fairly well, but not especially well for the marathon (3:50ish) which is about avg for my marathons, and didn't do any real mileage Mar-May. I don't think my training ever hit 50MPW.

                   

                  It was raining the first few hours and muddy and nasty the whole day. Our plan was simple. Continuous moving. Slow down if you feel yourself becoming winded.

                   

                  That is what I recommend she try in a couple of her runs. Long slow distance trail runs of at least 15 miles going at a slow trot and never becoming winded. That probably means walking uphills and trotting along at 12-13:00ish paces. Stop to use the restroom and grab fuel onteh go. If she can find a 2-3 mile trail loop where she can park close for resupplies then she's found her training ground. Mindnumbing short loops. If she can keep from her joints giving out then I think she knows how to do this.

                   

                  18 marathons???? I should be asking her for advice. Pump up her inner confidence to help her come to realize there's no way she cannot do this.

                    Agree with the comments that kinda say that it's more important what she does with the miles than the quantity. Were her marathons large road races or small trail races or something in between. The race is on trails in the dark. How much trail experience does she have? How much night time experience? I know some people can do races like that with no specific training, but many people with a largely road background really have trouble picking up their feet on trails. Finding a headlamp that works might be an issue. How do temperatures change through the night? A need to add / peel layers?

                     

                    It looks like 6.65mi is longest between aid stations but "hydration is required" so she might need to figure out a water carrying mechanism (hand-held, waist belt, pack) if she doesn't already use something regularly.

                     

                    Especially agree that if she can get on the course beforehand, that would be really helpful - both physically and mentally.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                    Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                      General 50 mile advice to pass along as it was told to me before my first race (and was spot on):  You're going to feel great halfway through the race because you'll be running so much slower than you're used to in a marathon. If you don't, you went out way too fast.  Around 30-35 miles, you're going to go into a dark dark place and it's going to get really rough. Then, at 40 miles, you'll realize you've only got 10 miles to go and will feel much better.  In a 100 miler, you hit that dark place 2-3 more times.

                       

                      Advice specific to this race pretty much echoes what others have said.  Do back-to-backs regularly, with a long run 20+ miles followed by a medium long run of 10-15+ miles the next day, and some 20+/20+ weekends as well.

                       

                      Also, get as much race specific training as you can, in this case, run on trails and if possible run on trails at night and if possible run on the trails you'll be racing on if you live in that area.

                       

                      I belong to a trail runner's club that regularly runs on trails at night and it's definitely an acquired skill to get comfortable with it. She'll also want to dial in what works for her regarding headlamps and handhelds and should practice changing batteries at night just so she has the experience before race day.

                      Run to Win
                      24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                        Try asking this over in the Trailer trash group. I am pretty sure there are some very active members who've done this race recently and could give some very specific advice for this race. Put the OSS CIA name in the thread title too.

                         

                        edit: from what I can remember of the race reports, it's supposed to be a very well done race, put on by a commited group, with runnable trails.


                        Imminent Catastrophe

                           How much trail experience does she have? How much night time experience? 

                           

                          Bottom line.

                          "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                           "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                          "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                           

                          √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                          Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                          Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014